Karagöz knits a sock on the head of the Turkish military

Can you knit a sock on your head?

These days, Karagöz sits with me as a make my way through the English-language Turkish press.  I like to keep up to speed on Turkish goings-on as much as I can so that I can deepen my knowledge of the country as I slowly wend my way towards that citizenship examination.

The other day, Karagöz came across an article before I did – an article to which he had QUITE a response.  All I heard were whoops and hollers and the word “çorap” which means “sock.”

I soon saw that he was reading about one proposed plan for the Turkish military to go into northern Syria to create a buffer zone from ISIL in response to all that has been going down on that border.  The article struck me as a typically nationalistic and short-sighted approach to local conflict that has a familiar ring to it.  What that all had to do with socks, however, I wasn’t sure, but you know how Karagöz is, he doesn’t often make sense right away.

Stuck, I had to go to M. for advice on Karagöz’ commentary about Syria and socks.  As it turns out, when someone causes a complex problem for themselves or others, Turks use the idiom “başına çorap örmek.

It literally translates as “to knit a sock for one’s head.”

Here is an example: “Bekle gör, senin başına ne çoraplar öreceğim!” or, in English “Wait and see, what troubles I will get you into!”  This is usually used to talk about the future in a situation in which trouble will be coming to someone or something.

Well, now I understand.  The Turkish military would indeed be knitting a sock on their collective head if they went into Syria in such a manner – that’s just begging for trouble, isn’t it?

Yet another twist in the road towards understanding Turkish!


This entry was posted in Turkish Controversies, Visits from the Karagöz puppets and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Karagöz knits a sock on the head of the Turkish military

  1. Alan says:

    . .a sock indeed! The military are totally opposed to such an adventure – apart from being illegal (the waging of aggressive war is the number one war crime), how many enemies does Turkey need right now. RTE and the AK Party are a very different matter – they NEED enemies to rally nationalistic support as we head for the inevitable re0run of the election.

  2. lizcameron says:

    Ah – so you think a re-run is inevitable…I’ve been trying to read between the headlines to see what I think…

  3. A lovely vignette to take us on a journey of idoms, humor, and political turmoil in a country we don’t know beneath the headlines, a place love has made so real for you –

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